Season In Review: Dance Team
by Kelly Martin
Class of 2016
The Braintree High School Varsity Dance Team just wrapped up their 2016 season this past weekend and it is safe to say that they had an extremely successful year.
The girls have gone undefeated all year, from winning Bay States, to States, and even New Englands.
“They’re explosive,” Braintree Varsity Dance team coach Jamie Campbell said of the team, “They always rise to the occasion.”
The Divas (as they call themselves) started their season essentially in June with their fall tryouts, where they combined new dancers with old ones to create an unstoppable team of twenty-five. The next stop for BVD was their UDA Dance Camp, a camp where they stayed for three nights and four days at Emmanuel College. The girls survived the sweltering hot July weather in dorms with no air conditioning where they danced from about eight in the morning to five at night; it was there that the girls learned all their game dances for the year.
The girls ended the last week of their summer with “double sessions” a week which consists of five, eight hour practices, making them practice a total of forty hours in one week. There BVD perfected their eight game dances and made sure that everyone was ready for the year that was to come.
Fall season consisted of dancing at football games, the pep rally, The Reggie Lewis Center, and states. The Divas took each and every performance head on. The girls danced in front of their whole school at the October Pep Rally where they performed their 2015 state championship dance. BVD put out a nearly perfect performance and the student body and faculty loved it. The next stop for the team was the UDA competition held at the Reggie Lewis Center. They were competing a Pom routine choreographed by their assistant coach, Lindsay Coleman; but, while they were performing the wrong music was played and ended up being three speeds faster than it was meant to be. The Divas had been taught by their coaches to always dance to the tempo of the music, so the wrong music didn’t faze them; they rose to the occasion and powered through the dance even with the faster music. The performance was by no means perfect, but the girls kept going, which landed them with first place and grand champions at their first competition of the season.
The last competition for the girls’ fall season was states held at Wakefield High School. The team competed a dance that they referred to as “Congo” – it was a Spanish themed dance that started and ended in one solid line of all twenty-five girls across the floor — a spacing that the judges had never seen before. The girls put on an impressive show; they came out confident, strong, and ready to win. BVD came in first place, beating the second place team, Needham High School, by over forty points, which included the penalty and deductions that they got for two jazz shoes falling off in the midst of the routine.
Coach Jamie Campbell was very pleased with the team’s successful fall season; however, she wanted a lot more from the girls for the winter season. She didn’t feel that the girls had danced a routine to the best of their ability yet, so she made it the team’s goal to finish the year with “no mistakes” in each routine. The Divas felt that pressure was on for Bay States, it was the first competition of the winter season, and BVD had placed second at this competition the previous year (which had ruined their otherwise undefeated 2014-2015 season).This year the team refused to accept anything but first place. The team was confident, they had been working on this routine for months and they knew it like the back of their hand. As the team was waiting to preform, Coach Jamie Campbell, gave them their cue to, “Just go out there and put on a show.” The team sure did put on a show, as they came out with an explosive routine that met the expectation of “no mistakes.” The team was victorious and reclaimed their previously held title as Bay State Champions.
The girls were on a high from their win at Bay States that occurred on Tuesday, February 23rd, but they still had States to compete at that Saturday. BVD put a lot of pressure on themselves to win Bay States, but nothing compared to the pressure that the senior dancers put on themselves to win their last States. If the girls won this State Championship, it would be their eighth consecutive State Championship; meaning that they had won every State Championship that they had competed in throughout their all four years. Practices were hard the rest of the week, Coach Campbell had choreographed what she said was her “hardest routine yet” and it put a toll on the girls. The team was falling apart with injuries and illnesses, but they still had that drive to win States.
When that Saturday arrived the girls were nervous, they felt that they needed one more week to perfect their routine, however, they didn’t have that. But, just like always the Divas put on a great performance that earned the seniors their eighth consecutive State Championship title and the team a bid to the New England Championships.
The New England Championships were held on the following Saturday, March 5th and was held at the team’s home turf: Braintree High School. The Divas were competing two routines that day, one being their jazz routine that they just competed in the Winter States Competition, and the other their Pom dance that they had competed in the fall at the Reggie Lewis Center. The girls competed against twenty-one teams, which included teams from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont. BVD was ready to go and finish their season strong. They were defending a New England Championship title in the Pom category from the previous year and were hoping to gain another title in the Jazz category. The girls were definitely power houses that day because they blew the crowd away with two unbelievable performances. BVD earned a New England Championship title in both the Pom and Jazz category and went out of their season undefeated.
Kelly Martin is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition